Division of Child Support
The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Division of Child Support (DCS) was given the authority by the Washington State Legislature in 1997 to develop a license suspension program. DCS implemented the program in July 1997 and has realized significant success since it's inception. Below is a table outlining the programs success.
*This is the total number of outstanding suspensions from 7/97 through the end of that program
The license suspension program is an administrative remedy used as a last resort to collect unpaid child support. A warning letter is sent to the last known address of a noncustodial parent (NCP) when their child support debt is at least $500 and DCS has not received a payment in the last 60 days. Before DCS can suspend a license, the NCP must be at least 6 months behind in child support payments and have been personally served with a suspension notice. The NCP has 20 days to contact DCS and negotiate a payment plan or request a hearing on the notice. If DCS does not hear from the NCP within those 20 days, then a suspension request may be sent to the licensing agency.
DCS uses the licenses suspension program only for NCPs who do not have reportable wages - typically the self-employed individual. If the NCP contacts DCS any time after we have referred his license for suspension, and negotiates a payment plan, DCS will have the license reinstated within 24 hours. DCS will not pursue license suspension against those individuals who are on public assistance or who receive disability payments.
For more information on the program, go to the September 2002 Legislative Report.